60822 Creek Road
Niles, MI 49120


Is it Spring yet??!! This winter has been crazy since the first of the year. In my area of the Mitten we have had crazy winter weather happening more so in recent weeks. We are paying the price for a mild December and mostly January. Temperatures have been all over the seasonal range and as I sit here on the 19th of February writing this, we are all over the place with temperatures. This isn't good on the fruit trees let alone animals and humans too! The snow has been all over the spectrum as well from a dusting to 12"+ in just a day! We have seen system snow and lake effect snow. At least we have had the moisture needed for the crops when the farmers start planting in the spring. Spring is around the corner just by looking at what is coming in my mailbox lately. Seed catalogs and hatchery catalogs have been coming for the last week or more! Also, the local farm store Rural King is gearing up with Chicks!! If looking at these types of catalogs and seeing cute little baby chicks do not put you in the mood for Spring I don't know what would!
This is the perfect time to be planning your gardens for the coming growing season. You need to have time to decide what you want to plant so you can be ready when the ground is ready for preparing and planting in the early summer. You want to look at the different varieties of each vegetable you intend to plant. Of course you have to be careful that you don't plan too much for the size plot you have for planting. All your plants need their space and overcrowding is not a good thing in a vegetable garden. Many plants can spread out of the area that you think is enough and crowd into another area which causes problems for other plants not being allowed to grow right. If you have a way to do research maybe you could look into doing some vertical gardening which will help you save on space.
Don't forget to plan what you would like to grow for the Agriculture Department Growing contests that are in your Program Book. Be sure to check out the Program Book for all the class details and rules. I kept all of the classes from last State Session. With our State Session in late October, it makes it hard to come up with classes for the Growing Contests in the Ag Department. I would like to hear from anyone that has some ideas for classes PLEASE!! I hope we will have a good turn out as this will give everyone in the Grange a chance to show what they can do! We only had 2 entries at the 2021 State Session. Please consider one of the classes if you have never entered in the Ag Department. Agriculture is one of the main reasons the Grange was formed.
Here are a few interesting facts that I found in the publication Michigan Agriculture 2022 edition. After a 45,000 acre potato harvest, Michigan Farmers produced nearly 17.6 million hundredweight of potatoes in 2020. Leading the U.S. in the sales value for impatiens, begonias, geraniums, petunias and Easter lilies, Michigan ranks 3rd nationally in floriculture production. Ranking 3rd in the U.S. in apple production, Michigan's 2020 apple harvest totaled 927 million pounds of the fruit.
I look forward to another great Grange year as we celebrate 150 years of the Grange in Michigan. Please keep doing your part to keep yourself, your family, your friends and your communities safe and healthy. Let's show our communities more than ever before what the Grange stands for - Faith, Hope, Charity and Fidelity!!


Happy New Year everyone! Wow, 2022 is in the books and 2023 has just started! Well, I am sure everyone is starting to think about Spring and winter is not even half over! I know it is important to have snow during the winter months as that helps to add moisture to our farm fields and helps to protect the winter wheat during the cold months. So far, we have had a little bit of snow in my area of Michigan which seems weird as it is Dec 17th as I sit writing this article.
Yes, snow is a part of everyday life during winter in our community. And don’t we often wish we didn’t have to live with it, but we couldn’t live without it.

​So, while you sit and look at the snow float from the sky, think about what you might want to plant in your gardens or yards this coming spring. Now is a great time to be looking through the seed catalogs and plant books for those special favorites you might want to plant and then share the crops with friends and neighbors.

​Here is a good reason to be planning early. Be sure to check out the Agriculture Department in the Program Book. I left some of the classes from 2022 in the program book for 2023 but have made a few changes to see if we can double the entries we had for the Agriculture Department. I know it is tough trying to get things to last until our State Session, but I try to have classes that the produce would still be good to enter. If our State Session was during the late Summer or early Fall months, we could do more classes to deal with fruits, vegetables and flowers. But it is kind of hard to do tomatoes or raspberries in late October. Please be sure to keep the inserted Program Book for the 2023 State Session.

​Well, that is all for now. Here is hoping 2023 is another great Grange year as we continue to return to a more normalcy for all and brings bounty to our Agriculture Neighbors and Friends!

​Until later….